Review by Joshua Mason
If like me you’re a little tired of pretentious sounding paradoxical titles to albums and tracks then the title of this latest release by Osunlade may not sit too well with you. I promise however that all can be forgiven once you delve a little deeper. ‘A Man With No Past Originating The Future’ is the seventh studio album to be released by the Yoruba boss, and with a staggering 718 releases on Discogs this is a man that has been on a long and enlightening musical journey. Those of you that would be expecting to hear the usual soulful house music in this album from Osunlade would be very much wrong. Light some scented candles and place yourself cross legged on a cushion because it is simply so much more than that.
The album begins with ‘The Realm of Difference’ which really sets the mood for arguably his most diverse and personal release so far. The track is a trip through an ambient soundscape with flutters of wildlife that complement the gentle beat of a heart like drum. Yoruba records was originally created with the purpose of making music to elevate the soul and the opening track of the album certainly embodies that motif. In ‘Eclipse’ Osunlade gets back to his St. Louis Missouri roots with a jazz adorned track layered with gorgeous guitar licks that gently charm you through the entirety of the song. ‘Sour The Plan’ featuring newcomer Supreme is a politically charged track in which Osunlade speaks his mind. The muted guitar picking resonates in the mind and translates almost as a ticking while he preaches that there’s ‘2 minutes left in the hour glass and time is moving fast.’ It’s tracks like this on the album along with ‘The Vessel’ that show his wisdom and how much this album is from the heart. One of the album highlights for me is ‘Human Beings,’ a beautiful vocoder ballad that lulls you into glossy eyed state of dream and wonder. Waves can be heard lapping onto far away shores and the lyrics speak true as ‘the world before as we know it goes.’
A Man With No Past Originating The Future is an endeavour of love and passion, an individualistic album that stretches musical boundaries while at the same time stays true to the artist. While previous releases by Osunlade have been largely house based, this release is purely music of the world. Many of the tracks are difficult to define genre wise and this only further highlights his versatility and talent as an artist. It’s quite simply a man with nothing to prove making music that he loves.